Hawaiian fight fans have a busy summer schedule ahead, beginning
with the Penn-Sherk lightweight title fight May 24 in Las Vegas and
ending with the K1 USA Grand Prix, which is rumored for Aug. 9 at
the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
From future fights to recent events, MMA Pipeline has the news on
what's going down in the 50th state's fight scene.
Just days before his scheduled title defense, X1 lightweight champ
Shane Nelson (Pictures) has bowed out of his fight Friday
against Ray "Bradda" Cooper and relinquished his 155-pound
"I wish I could've fought ‘Bradda' cause it would have been a nuts
fight," Nelson said. "I think things happen for a reason, and the
fans will understand later."
Though he could not comment, the 24-year-old student of B.J. Penn (Pictures) is rumored to be a
contestant on the next season of "The Ultimate Fighter," which
called for applicants from the heavyweight and lightweight
"There isn't much that I can say on why I pulled out of the fight,
but to everyone who thinks I pulled out because I'm scared, that
couldn't be further from the truth," Nelson told Sherdog.com via
e-mail on Saturday.
At the time of publication, X1 World Events had not commented on
whether a suitable replacement had been found to fight Cooper.
EliteXC has confirmed that Oahu's Neal S. Blaisdell Arena will host
the promotion's Showtime-televised event on June 14.
Dubbed "The Return of the King," the event will be headlined by a
lightweight title matchup between champion KJ Noons and No. 1
contender Yves Edwards
A native of the big island of Hawaii, "King Karl" Noons is a
three-time Icon Sport veteran, stopping his opponents with strikes
on all three occasions. This will be his first fight in Hawaii
since 2005 and his first defense of his 155-pound title since
defeating Nick Diaz
(Pictures) to capture it last
Also on the card will be some familiar faces to Hawaiian
spectators. Nick Diaz
(Pictures) and Murilo Rua (Pictures), who competed in Honolulu last
September, will make their ways back to the Blaisdell to take on
(Pictures) and Tony Bonello (Pictures), respectively.
The main card will be rounded out by two heavier matchups, as
Wayne Cole (Pictures) drops to 205 pounds to face
Rafael Feijao and
Dave Herman (Pictures) fights current X1 heavyweight
champ Ron Waterman
Of particular interest to Hawaiian fans may be the event's
undercard. Like last year, it will take place after the televised
bouts. Headlining will be newly crowned Icon Sport middleweight
champ Kala Kolohe Hose, who will be throwing down against former
hockey enforcer Geoff
While many of the other undercard bouts are yet to be confirmed, a
number of local fighters -- such as Mark Oshiro (Pictures), PJ Dean (Pictures), Lolohea Mahe (Pictures), Koa Ramos (Pictures), Kaleo Kwan (Pictures), Mike Aina (Pictures), Dean Lista (Pictures) and Chris Bernard -- are all
expected to see action.
Tentative fight card:
KJ Noons vs. Yves Edwards
Nick Diaz (Pictures) vs. Muhsin Corbbrey (Pictures)
Murilo Rua (Pictures) vs. Tony Bonello (Pictures)
Rafael Feijao vs.
Wayne Cole (Pictures)
Dave Herman (Pictures) vs. Ron Waterman (Pictures)
Kala Kolohe Hose vs. Geoff
Hawaiian fighter Kendall
Grove (Pictures) is set to take on former UFC
middleweight champion Evan
Tanner (Pictures) in the main event of the live
"Ultimate Fighter" season seven finale June 21 on SpikeTV.
Grove is on a bit of a downslide in his career. He suffered
back-to-back knockouts after winning season three of "The Ultimate
Fighter" and stopping his next two opponents in the UFC.
But it appears the 25-year-old Maui native is looking to put an end
to his losing streak by training with one of the sport's best.
"Kendall is training in Hilo, Hawaii, with B.J. Penn (Pictures)," Grove's sports agent,
Jill Baxter, told Sherdog.com. "He trains four hours per day. He
loves training in Hilo and is looking forward to his fight with
Evan Tanner (Pictures)."
On a night filled with amateur MMA and kickboxing bouts, three pro
fights headlined the Stand Your Ground IX card put on by HFC on May
9 at the Dole Cannery Ballroom.
In the night's main event, Team Icon's Ricky "Hoku" Wallace was put
through a tough test. Ryan
Cabinian pushed him late into the fight, but Wallace endured
and eventually put Cabinian away with strikes in the third
In 160-pound action, Marcio
Silva quickly worked a number of submission attempts on
Villapondo before transitioning into a tap-inducing armbar
early in the first frame. In the evening's first pro bout,
middleweight journeyman Brennan Kamaka (Pictures) made short work of Michael
Winklespecht, knocking him out in the first round.
On April 18 former Icon Sport and current X1 middleweight champ
(Pictures) shed his gloves and fight
shorts for the night and tried his hand at promoting.
Niko Vitale Promotions' inaugural event, Local Pride, was held at
the Dole Cannery Ballroom and headlined by a heavyweight encounter
between Lolohea Mahe
(Pictures) and Vilatonu Fonokalafi.
The two big men scrapped in the opening round, but the bout was
eventually stopped in the second when Fonokalafi could not continue
due to an injured eye, giving Mahe the win by way of TKO.
In other pro action, Team MMAD went 3-0. Heavyweight Doug Hiu (Pictures) defeated Kaeo Linkee via decision, and Brad
Tavares and Kyle
Miyahana both took first-round victories by rear-naked choke
over John Ferrel and Micah
Ige (Pictures), respectively.
Though the promotion was created to raise money for Vitale's
Central Pacific Youth/West Oahu Project charity, the champ doesn't
seem so sure there will be a second event.
"It was a lot harder than I thought," Vitale told the Honolulu
Advertiser. "I don't know if I'll be doing this again. The fighting
is easier than the promoting."
All five of the island boys who made the trek to the great white
north to take on their Alaskan counterparts were unsuccessful at
Alaska Fighting Championship 46.
The Hawaii vs. Alaska-themed event on April 9 in Anchorage, Alaska,
was the latest in a continuing trend of talent exchange between the
two non-contiguous states. Two of the most notable examples of the
exchange are AFC veteran Ricky Shivers (Pictures), who fought Falaniko Vitale (Pictures) for the X1 middleweight title
last January, and Justin
Buchholz (Pictures), who was an AFC veteran and an
Icon champ before the UFC signed him.
Brian Evans def. Dom Ah Nee TKO 2:21 R1
Dave Knight def. David Padilla (Pictures) submission (kimura) 1:58 R2
Julio Paulino def.
(Pictures) TKO 2:00 R2
Jesus Rivera def.
Smokey Brown TKO 1:48
Bryan Ryan def. Kalao Kahalewai TKO 1:49
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